Here come the Men In Black! We last saw the MIB team with the long-awaited release of Men in Black 3 back in 2012 — and now the franchise is getting a surprise spinoff.

There's been talk of potential projects for years, including a MIB crossover with 21 Jump Street and a rumored fourth installment with the original cast. However, in a rather surprising move, Sony Pictures just announced that not only is a Men In Black spinoff in the works, but that it already has a planned release date.

Iron Man writers Matt Holloway and Art Marcum are currently working on the script, and the film is slated to be released on May 17, 2019. While it's said that Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones won't be returning for this movie, the project will exist in the same universe and build off what happened in the previous MIB films.

According to Deadline, this is the overall expectation of the script (so far):

A contemporary sci-fi pic about the black-clad secret force that protects earth from the alien scum of the universe, focusing on new characters chasing villains that put the picture on more of a global scale than the two previous films.

Fans were divided over the rumored 21 Jump Street crossover with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. However, it seems to be off the table; Hill himself even spoke out on his doubts regarding the project's future last summer.

This new surprise installment of MIB could mean a few things. First, it could be Sony's way of setting up an eventual crossover between the two franchises by introducing the new agents. Or it may be the studio's way of starting from scratch (a.k.a., rebooting) with new agents and no crossover intentions.

Either way you look at it, this project is being seriously expedited so it can meet the 2019 release date. We'll likely know sooner rather than later what the studio's planning. This very well could be another soft reboot like we've seen with Jurassic World and will shortly see with Jigsaw, but only time will tell.

[Source: Deadline]